Best Guide To Calculate Industrial Boiler Capacity 2023

Buying or replacing an industrial boiler comes with the question, “What industrial boiler capacity do I need?” You should not just replace your current boiler with its latest version. You need to do some research and calculations for your new wood steam boiler or hot water boiler because you can’t risk investing in an unproductive industrial boiler.

In this article, you will find the way to find measuring the capacities of steam boilers and hot water boilers along with some problems of undersized and oversized industrial boilers. Also, we have some calculators that aid in calculating the capacity of boilers, all described in this article. So cling to the end and get the best industrial boiler capacity for your industry.

industrial boiler

Measuring Capacity Of A Hot Water Boiler Vs Steam Boiler

A hot water boiler and steam boilers are the most commonly used boilers in industries, depending upon their needs. Both have different working principles, so their capacity estimation also varies. A hot water boiler is responsible for hydronic heat(heat transfer through some liquid; mostly water), while a steam boiler provides heat through the circulation of steam.

To measure the capacity of steam boilers and hot water boilers, you need different input values for both boilers, some of them are;

For steam boiler

  • Fuel input
  • Operating hours
  • Load profile in pounds per hour of steam
  • Operating pressures

For hot water boiler

  • Circulating medium; domestic hot water or glycol mixture
  • Operating pressures
  • Fuel input
  • Load profile and temperature limits

measuring boiler capacity

Problems With Oversized And Undersized Boilers

Why is it so important to measure your industrial boiler capacity? The answer is that you may face several problems with oversized and undersized boilers. These problems can disturb the overall productivity of your industry. We have mentioned these problems to help you better understand why you need to do the proper calculations.

Problems With Oversized Boilers

  • Oversized boilers consume more fuel leading to budget issues.
  • They result in excessive thermal fatigue.
  • They run on constant cycles, which means their efficiency will decrease soon.
  • They require more care and labor than a perfect-sized boiler.
  • These boilers generate too much heat that the system can not dissipate.

Problems With Undersized Boilers

  • They are unable to meet production demands.
  • You will have to do the extra shifts with these boilers.
  • Overloading this boiler may result in total disaster, and you will eventually have to buy a new one.

After analyzing these problems, you must think about ways to rightly calculate the industrial boiler capacity to avoid them in your industry. Don’t worry! Keep on reading this article, and you will find the answers below.

Units Used To Measure Boiler Capacity

There are several units and meters that you can use to measure the estimated industrial boiler capacity to get the right size of the boiler. Give a read to these units and learn how they work.

industrial boiler capacity

●      Boiler Horsepower

Boiler horsepower is the capacity of a boiler to generate steam from water. It is the amount of thermal energy required to convert 34.5 pounds (15.6 kg) of water into steam at 212 °F (100 °C) in 60 minutes.

You can also convert boiler horsepower into lbs to correctly estimate the weight of steam using the given formulae;

                                    BHp x 34.5 = lbs of steam per hour

The same formula changes a little to convert lbs of steam into boiler horsepower;

lbs of steam / 34.5 = BHp

●      BTU/Hour

Another unit to measure the capacity of the boiler is BTU/Hour. It is defined as a British Thermal Unit that measures heat energy. One BTU is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of a pound of water up to 1 Fahrenheit. In the case of industrial boiler capacity, we use it to measure the rate of heat required to raise the temperature of a given amount of water in one hour. Generally, an industrial boiler with a heating capacity above 135,000 Btu/h works ideally for an industry.

●      Specific Heat

Next in the line is specific heat. It is the capacity of the material to absorb heat to rise in temperature. It is also essential to understand the specific heat capacity of the fuel being used as it helps to manage the temperature ranges of the industrial boiler directly relating to its capacity. You can find out the material’s specific heat capacity by dividing its specific heat by the mass of the same material.

●       Specific Gravity

Specific gravity is also known as relative density. It is the ratio of the density of the material used to that of the standard or reference material. You can find the relative density by dividing the density of the material by the standard density.

●       Density

Density is defined as the mass per unit volume. It helps to understand the density and mass occupied by the material used. If the material has a higher density, it will be lesser in volume and vice versa. If you understand the density of the material you are using, you can better guess your industrial boiler capacity.

boiler capacity

●      Delta T or ΔT

Delta means change. It is a Greek word used by mathematicians and engineers to define the change between two values. Here delta T implies the difference in the material’s given temperature and return temperature. Identifying this temperature change helps you consider the right industrial boiler size. This is very crucial because it is directly related to the dissipation of heat from the system. The correct industrial boiler size calculation can save you from future heat damage and protect you from blasts.

●       Gallons Per Minute

This unit measures the flow of liquid in terms of gallons per minute. This information on the liquid flow measurement is crucial to understanding your industry’s production needs. This will help you to buy the right and required size of boilers for your industry.

How To Size An Industrial Boiler Using Different Calculators?

Calculating the industrial boiler capacity is not as hectic as it seems. You just need the right products and a helpful guide. Here are 3 calculators that can ease your burden and save you from trouble:

1.     Boiler Horsepower Calculator

After understanding boiler horsepower as a measuring unit, it’s time to learn how to calculate its value with the help of calculators. A boiler horsepower calculator is used to check the capacity of steam boilers. Using this calculator, you can convert the steam loads (lbs per hour) into the horsepower using the previous formula. All you need to do is enter the steam load in lbs in this calculator, and it will automatically divide it with a constant of 34.5, and you will get the value of thermal energy required at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Every boiler has a specific boiler horsepower rating according to its steam output. This BHp rating helps to keep industrial boiler regulations in check, keeping the calculations precise.

2.     BTU/HR to Boiler Horsepower Calculator

This calculator is suitable for both steam boilers and hot water boilers. It calculates the heat transfer input by converting it into BHp. For this, you need to enter the total amounts of thermal energy in BTU/hr used as input and the boiler’s efficiency to get precised calculations in BHp. Enter the value in the calculator, and it will be divided by a constant of 33,475. This constant refers to the amount of steam produced by the boiler. This gives you an estimation of the steam output of your boiler.

3.      Boiler BTU Calculator Given Flow and △T

This calculator measures the capacity of the boiler in terms of liquid flow and change in its temperature. All you need to do is enter the values of gallons per minute and Delta T, along with specific heat, specific gravity, and density values. These values are important to check the properties of water. The result of this calculation will give the industrial boiler capacity in BTU.

This calculator can also be used for steam and hot water boilers, but the calculation is slightly different. This is because the hot water boiler does not undergo any phase change in its heating process, while steam fired boilers experience a phase change from liquid to gaseous state.

Final Thoughts

Understanding an industry’s needs to know the industrial boiler capacity is crucial in buying a steam boiler or hot water boiler. This ensures that the boiler meets your production demands and saves you money. Getting the right industrial boiler size is also crucial for the boiler’s health, as the wrong-sized boiler can affect its efficiency. This article has mentioned all the essential guides and calculation ideas to help you professionally calculate your industrial boiler capacity.

Follow these guides, check the capacity needed for your industry, and invest in a suitable boiler. Hope this helps, see you with the next article.


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